It inhabits dry tropical forests, especially acacia and broad-leaved woodlands, and dense shrubland areas, where it is more often heard than seen despite the brightness of its plumage.
The voice is a liquid-sounding warble, accompanied by imitations and whistles.
It forages in the canopy, feeding on small fruit as well as large insects. The young are fed mostly with caterpillars.
Tail-fanning is one element of oriole courtship
- BirdLife International (2012). "Oriolus larvatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "HBW 13 - Family text: Oriolidae (Orioles and Figbirds)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- Black-headed oriole videos, photos and sounds - Internet Bird Collection
- Black-headed oriole - Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds.